The U.S. Balance and Exchange Commission has answerable a retired Navy arch with artifice over allegations that he took about $355,000 in advance funds from dozens of sailors, reservists and veterans who were allotment of a arch Facebook accumulation and spent about bisected the money on coffer and claimed expenses, the bureau appear Thursday.
Robert L. Murray Jr., 42, stood up Deep Dive Strategies LLC, or DDS, in September 2020, accession and misspending funds as allotment of an declared abomination that lasted until January, according to the bent complaint.
Navy admiral accepted Thursday that Murray was a arch hospital corpsman who retired in 2018 afterwards 20 years of service.
“As a retired Navy Chief, Murray knew and took advantage of the assurance in Navy Chiefs that is developed through annual and appropriate argosy training,” the SEC’s complaint states. “Murray acclimated the appearance of abidingness created by his U.S. Navy annual to accession about $355,000 from about 44 investors—most of whom additionally were affiliated with the Navy.”
But instead of shepherding the sailors’ cash, Murray is accused of misappropriating about $148,000 from the fund, spending it on coffer and claimed expenses.
He blew $8,700 in bluejacket money via debit agenda and analysis expenditures, $83,500 in banknote withdrawals and $638.99 at Helzberg Diamonds, according to the complaint.
In February 2021, prosecutors allege, he transferred $10,000 from the armamentarium to his claimed coffer account, which had beneath than $800 in it afore the transfer.
“Nine annual afterwards authoritative the transfer, Murray purchased $10,400 in coffer chips from a Cleveland coffer application the aforementioned claimed coffer account,” the complaint alleges.
The complaint additionally indicates the retired arch and his armamentarium weren’t the soundest options for shipmates attractive to invest.
Murray absent “a cogent amount” of the allowance account’s amount in January 2021 by advance in GameStop options contracts, according to the complaint.
The declared “stonk” abnormality involving the brick-and-mortar GameStop alternation came to the ahead aftermost year, aback abecedarian day traders affiliated to advance the company’s banal amount through the roof afore it comatose aback bottomward to earth.
“Murray’s attack into trading balance for the Armamentarium was abrupt and unsuccessful,” the complaint states.
The retired arch fabricated his aftermost DDS barter on Jan. 23, 2021, but the complaint doesn’t announce whether that was the GameStop foray.
“This final bootless barter was a bet on acutely chancy options affairs that had the abeyant to lose all amount aural 24 hours, which they ultimately did,” the complaint states. “The DDS allowance annual was larboard with $161.98, which Murray after withdrew on February 4, 2021. In beneath a month, Murray absent about all the Fund’s money he acclimated to barter securities.”
Murray could not be accomplished for animadversion Thursday, but “asserted his Fifth Amendment advantage during the SEC’s pre-filing investigation,” the complaint states.
The complaint alleges that Murray acclimated the “Goats Facebook Group” to acclaim his “purported successes in trading options contracts” to accumulation members.
He awash units of DDS associates interests to investors at $5,000 a unit.
“Murray additionally created a approach on the Discord amusing media platform, area he live-streamed his trading action and acquaint trading admonition with a focus on options trading,” the complaint states.
Murray started the armamentarium in September 2020 and solicited investors through February 2021.
“He told investors that their money would be placed in the Armamentarium and acclimated to advance in publicly-traded securities,” the complaint alleges.
While Murray told investors they could appeal a accretion of their armamentarium advance at the end of 2021, the retired arch “almost immediately” began spending the fund’s money on claimed expenses.
Murray cut off acquaintance with investors by March 2021 and “rebuffed their attempts to appearance an accounting of the Fund,” the complaint alleges.
In the afterward months, some investors requested a refund, and Murray adumbrated in August 2021 that he would acknowledgment what was larboard in the fund, but never did, according to the complaint.
“To date, no Armamentarium investors accept accustomed any acknowledgment from the Fund,” the complaint states.
Murray currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska, but was active in Chicago and Ohio during his declared crimes.
SEC admiral said Thursday that no one abroad has been charged.
Geoff is a chief agents anchorman for Military Times, absorption on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan abundantly and was best afresh a anchorman at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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